The Uninsured & Underinsured Population
HCA305– The U.S. Healthcare System
March 16, 2014
The number of uninsured and underinsured adults - that is people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses or people who cannot afford coverage at all – has sky-rocketed dramatically. Likewise, attaining access to healthcare is a complicated war because of the approximately 44 million underinsured and uninsured. (Lamm, Richard D. 2000). Shortcomings n the U.S. healthcare system affects society as a whole and not just individual by individual; creating a national crisis. We are at a historical turning point in the history of the U.S. healthcare system where we, as Americans can decide either to make needed change and flourish or diminish as a nation. The ultimate goal is high-quality care and improved outcomes-not just coverage. There is growing recognition of the need for strategies that combine coverage with payment and other policies to change directions and move toward a more inclusive and higher-performing, high-value health system.
Issues Facing Uninsured & Underinsured
According to the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 18,000 people die each year as a direct result of being uninsured. (Columbia Journalism Review, 2009) Many of the uninsured go without needed care because the cost is immensely high. This puts a burden on low to moderate income families. They essentially have to choose between healthcare or food for their families. Preventative care is essential in healthcare to ensure healthy individuals and to also aid in lowering costs. The uninsured usually do not receive preventative care such as cancer screenings and immunizations. Usually death is inevitable for the uninsured population due to unaffordability in care which delays early detection of terminal illnesses. The underinsured experience problems and go without needed care, all thanks to climbing...